Current News

Severance tax is biggest fight so far in 2015-16 budget

The Colorado Statesman

The state Senate Monday issued its first votes on the 2015-16 state budget. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to pass the budget bill, Senate Bill 15-234; and a package of related budget bills.

The biggest budget fight may come from one of those related bills. SB 255 takes $20 million from the state’s severance tax fund and transfers it to the general fund. The bill passed on a 4-3 vote with bi-partisan opposition.

Klingenschmitt: In the Old Testament they stoned the prophets - Opinion

In the Old Testament, they didn't elect prophets. They stoned them. I didn't come here to be a career politician. I came to speak truth.

Long before I was elected HD15's State Representative, I served as an ordained minister, former Navy Chaplain, and I still preach two hours every Sunday in my private ministry on our national TV show.

When I decided to run for office, I thought I could keep doing both jobs. Most State Reps have two jobs. I thought I could wear two hats. Perhaps I was mistaken.

Coffman turns 60, braces for new challenge ahead

The Colorado Statesman

Declaring that “60 is the new 40,” U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman welcomed some 150 guests to his birthday party on Saturday at the Summit Steakhouse in Aurora. “I hope that’s true, I really hope that’s true,” he said with a smile before dropping to the floor and doing 100 pushups at the urging of the crowd.

Wage Battle Begins

Minimum wage hike not expected to pass this session
The Colorado Statesman

Democrats this week began what is likely to be a multi-year effort to persuade fellow lawmakers and the public to support a hike in the minimum wage.

Monday, supporters held a rally on the west steps of the state Capitol, with a crowd numbering well over 250, to show support for two measures scheduled for hearing later that day.

House Concurrent Resolution 15-1001 seeks to raise Colorado’s current minimum wage of $8.23 per hour to $9.50 per hour, starting Jan. 1, 2017. The minimum wage would increase annually until it reaches $12.50 per hour on Jan. 1, 2020.

Imbroglio embroils election bill

The Colorado Statesman

The Legislature could be on the verge of approving sweeping changes to the way most municipalities conduct elections in the state, but not until a lawmaker intends to introduce last-minute changes before the final Senate vote on the legislation.

Tears, cheers as mascot bill passes committee

The Colorado Statesman

Some who wept in sorrow, later cheered in joy.

An attempt to persuade Colorado schools from using American Indian images as mascots got through a tumultuous hearing Monday, sparked by tears from some who recounted the abuses suffered by American Indians, and the two-hour absence of a lawmaker who walked out after a presentation by the sponsors didn’t go as planned.

Two West Slope sheriffs join pot suit

The Colorado Statesman

Six Colorado sheriffs, including two from the Western Slope, have joined the Drug Free America Foundation’s lawsuit against Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado.

The goal of the lawsuit, according to Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee, is to force the U.S. Supreme Court to finally rule on whether states can defy federal law to legalize marijuana within their state borders.

“I believe the issue needs to be resolved,” Sheriff McKee said. “I think it needs to be debated in court by Constitutional attorneys.”

Joint Budget Committee debuting state budget Friday

The Colorado Statesman

The 2015-16 state budget, under a divided General Assembly and equally divided Joint Budget Committee, is scheduled to debut on Friday

With a divided legislature, it was certain that no one would get everything they wanted. “This was a difficult balancing act, but we did it with bipartisan support,” according to Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley. “We have a balanced budget that lives within our means and within our budgetary constraints.”

Federal water bill bites the dust, again

The Colorado Statesman

A bill that has enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the House for the past two years got a very different response recently, and Republicans are crying foul.

Senate Bill 15-064 is the third in a three-year effort to tell the federal government that they do not have the right to demand water rights from ski resorts in exchange for renewing their leases for federal lands.

Q&A with House Majority Leader Rep. Crisanta Duran

The Colorado Statesman sat down this week to talk to Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, about everything from legislation to dancing. Duran is currently serving as House Majority Leader.

CS: Where were you raised and can you tell me a little about your family and some memories growing up?